This is the News in Brief, from the United Nations.
Over 27 million children at risk as devastating floods set records across the world
Overwhelming flooding has affected at least 27.7 million children in 27 countries worldwide, with the number of children affected by flooding in Chad, Gambia, Pakistan and north-east Bangladesh being the highest in over 30 years.
The UN Children’s Fund, UNICEF, says a large majority of the children affected are among the most vulnerable and that rolling disasters are straining the ability of governments and the international community to respond at the enormous scale needed.
Millions of children are at severe risk of starvation, disease, exploitation and death.
The agency is calling for delegates at COP27 to commit to funding to protect children from the devastating effects of a changing climate.
UNICEF says that this year, floods have contributed to the increased spread of major child killers, such as malnutrition, malaria, cholera and diarrhoea, and that the aftermath of floods is often more deadly for children than the extreme weather events that caused the flooding.
Human rights chief calls for release of Egyptian blogger on hunger strike
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on Tuesday called on authorities to immediately release the blogger and activist Alaa Abdel Fattah, whose life is reportedly at imminent risk after a seven-month hunger strike in prison.
Over more than a decade, Abdel Fattah has been arrested many times for his activism in relation to human rights violations by Egyptian security forces and the use of military courts to try civilians.
He was sentenced again in December last year on charges of publishing false news. He started his hunger strike in April and stopped drinking water on Sunday, the first day of COP27.
Volker Türk said that “Abdel Fattah is in great danger. His dry hunger strike puts his life at acute risk”, adding that Egyptian authorities must fulfil their human rights obligations and immediately release all those arbitrarily detained, including those in pre-trial detention, as well as those unfairly convicted.
‘Grave concerns’ after deadly attacks affected IDP camps in Syria
Civilian’s lives are being put at risk by a fresh escalation of hostilities in northwestern Syria, says the UN human rights office, OHCHR, which is calling on all sides in the conflict to abide by their obligations under international humanitarian law.
OHCHR says that it is ‘gravely concerned’ by a series of deadly ground-based strikes and airstrikes that struck several camps for internally displaced persons in Idlib on Sunday, killing at least seven, including a woman, three girls and one boy, and wounding at least 27 others.
The rights office says that the upsurge in fighting in the region has led to civilians paying an unacceptable price in terms of loss of lives, diminished access to basic life-saving services, destruction of essential infrastructure and exposure to further displacement.
OHCHR is calling on all parties to the conflict to remember that indiscriminate attacks are prohibited and, depending on the circumstances, may amount to war crimes.
Nicki Chadwick, UN News.